“Still no word?” Edward asks.
There is word, and it is not good. Not good at all.
It falls to Anthony to deliver the bad news. “Warwick's got past our lookout. His army's coming to besiege us. Ride to the protection of London.”
“Go alone, you’ll ride faster,” John advises.
“We'll stay and hold him off,” he assures his brother.
“To arms! Quickly! Quickly, men!” calls John, striding off to rally their men.
Edward hesitates a moment. “First, I need something of you, Richard. You must promise me.”
“Anything,” he says breathlessly. The faster Edward asks and he agrees, the faster Edward will ride for safety.
“If I should fall, you must be king. It cannot be George. It can never be George. You must not allow him to take the throne.”
Even now, in times of war, Richard has never before heard such talk from his supremely confident eldest brother,
talk of contingencies and his own mortality and it shocks him as nothing else ever has.
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